A common pain to have is shoulder pain. Shoulder injuries are often diagnosed as a ‘Rotator Cuff’ injury, but what does this mean and what can YOU do about it?
Case Study – PJ
PJ came to the clinic reporting a left-sided shoulder injury that was sustained 1 month previously. At the time PJ was having severe pain and difficulty reaching forward, backwards, sideways and overhead. He was limited in daily activities experiencing pain up to 8/10 with getting dressed (particularly getting the left arm into a shirt or jacket). By the time PJ sought treatment he had already changed many of the ways that he moved, compensating for the pain and weakness. This client had also already had an ultrasound taken of the shoulder and a rotator cuff tear was identified on the report and he had been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. He was fearing the worst – that this injury would stop him from doing all the things he wanted to do through the summer, including getting back to his active job and it had been ‘too long to get it fixed’.
During the assessment a few things were discussed with PJ:
- Imaging does not always clearly indicate that you will or will not need surgery. In fact, many individuals end up resolving their pain with physiotherapy alone!
- The length of time an injury has been present does not dictate if it will get better or not
- Hurt does not necessarily equal harm – but we don’t always push through pain. There is a time and place for ‘no pain no gain’ just as much as there is a time and place to protect and rest
- If the client was able to complete the exercises, stretches and guidelines provided then things would get better
When we started the assessment PJ was unable to lift his arm sideways past the level of his belly button, was unable to reach past his hip behind his back, and unable to reach overhead without pain reaching up to 8/10 and stopping him from going farther.
After 10 appointments, PJ is now working on return-to-work programming, strength and conditioning and is back to full PAIN FREE range of motion. This does not happen by accident. PJ was encouraged to complete the exercises and stretches provided, and he was able to stick with them and continue to make progress between appointments.
Our motto at Warman Physio is that
We are here to help you help yourself
There is no point having a client into the clinic to just do things to you that you are unable to continue progress at home. We want to help you resolve your shoulder injuries as quickly as possible.
Now many people will think…
My shoulder injury can’t get better because:
- I don’t know how I hurt it
- It has been going on for ‘too long’
- It just keeps coming back
- I’ve already seen someone for it and it didn’t help
What we are here to tell you is:
- You do not need to know HOW you hurt yourself, you just need to be able to explain how it hurts (and we help you with that!)
- It is ideal to get in for physiotherapy as quickly as possible after an injury (we do after all do sports therapy and assess injuries as they happen on the field!)
- BUT this doesn’t mean that pain lasting a month, a year, or 10 years cannot be assessed, treated and resolved
- If you have a pain that keeps coming back, there could be some underlying factor that keeps starting it up – weakness in another area, tightness in the front or back – our job is to identify what that underlying cause is
- Seeing one therapist does not mean that they had the right tools to help you at the time that you saw them. Sometimes it just takes seeing someone at this particular time that allows you to get better
So what are you waiting for? Stop suffering with your shoulder injuries and pain (or any other pain for that matter!) and book and appointment with your local Warman Physio
There is no ‘one treatment’ for ALL shoulder pain, as each underlying reason and client is different. This means that although we would really love to provide “4 simple exercises to cure your shoulder pain” we are unable to, since each client requires their own assessment, exercises and stretches that is individual to each of them.